Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Here Be Dragons... the Socks

Wow, these socks really took forever...

... by which I mean more than 2 months. I started them when it was still cool enough to wear wool socks.

This is the Here Be Dragons sock pattern by Rachel Gent for Knitty. It's supposed to look like dragon scales, I suppose, but you can be the judge. One thing that I like is that the sock was designed to be knit toe up and has some very cool details.

I like how the lace chart starts near the toe, adding a distinct widow's peak to the sock. However, I did change the toe a bit to make it less narrow by casting on more stitches and adjusting where I started the pattern chart. You can see how narrow the toe is in this picture.

Right before frogging

After a quick try on, I decided to frog and start over. Not only was the toe really narrow, but the sock was too big overall. A smaller needle and some additional stitches and I was back on track.

So, that set me back a bit, but the real hold up was that each time I got to the heel, I ran into troubles. I ended up ripping out and reknitting the heel flap 3 or 4 times on each sock. You would think that I would have figured it out after having successfully done it on the first sock and taking notes. But no. However, it is a pretty cool detail of the sock that the pattern bleeds into the heel flap.

I had trouble where you have finished the heel flap and start knitting full rounds in pattern again.While they were correct, the instructions could have been more clear. That said, I soldiered on and did get thru it.

Next, on the ankle of the sock you are instructed to just keep repeating 10 lines of the 20 line pattern chart, but I decided that I liked the full pattern and so did all 20 lines, keeping that diamond pattern going.

Lastly, I like the twisted knit stitch of the ribbed cuff. It crowns the sock nicely by making the rib slightly more dramatic.

Anyway, I am happy with the results, but not with the 9 weeks it took to knit these socks during my 3 day a week commute. I tend to oscillate in my sock knitting between doing more and more complicated patterns until I get frustrated with how long they take, and then more and more simple patterns until I get bored, and then back the other way. However, I'm glad these complicated socks are done! And I look forward to wearing them, although probably not until temperatures cool again...

PS - I am in the home stretch with my lady tux - a good thing since the wedding is on Saturday. And my sister's blouse has been delivered to her. Stay tuned for reviews and photos!

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